Oregon vs. Oregon State
Rain or shine, the Oregon State community brings together passionate fans who enjoy life, support their team and welcome visitors with enthusiasm and kindness. Surrounded by a strong local culture fueled by great food and natural beauty, Corvallis and its people make it easy to fall in love with this college town. During football season the town comes alive, as a colorful campus, Reser Stadium’s intimate setting, and friendly fans make Oregon State a college football experience you don’t want to miss.
Game day tips
You’ll find few people and places in Corvallis who aren’t colored in orange and black on game day. If you’re staying in Corvallis, walk to Reser Stadium or catch a shuttle from downtown or the fairgrounds. If you’re driving to the game, leave early and be patient as I-5 and Highway 99 can back up with traffic. Limited single game day parking lots are available around campus for $15 to $40.
Before the game, I recommend stopping by the OSU Beaver Store to stock up on Beaver gear. Be sure to plan and dress appropriately though as the weather in Corvallis can change quickly, from sunny and warm to rainy and cold. A few hours before kickoff, try checking out the Beaver Fan Fest. Games and prizes entertain kids at GenBeavs Kid Zone on Prothro Field. In addition, the Touchdown Tailgate Zone at Truax Indoor Center features TVs, food, adult beverages and the OSU cheerleaders and band. Two hours before kickoff, fans gather outside the Truax Center to cheer on and greet the band and football team as they head into the stadium.
At the stadium, tailgating tents decorate the parking lots surrounding Reser Stadium. Friendly, welcoming fans make tailgating feel like a neighborhood gathering. I joined some longtime Beaver fans for tailgating, delicious breakfast food and a few drinks. And thanks to their hospitality, this led to friendships that lasted well into the evening long after the game was over. Warm greetings, an abundance of food and drinks, passionate Beaver fans and new friends made this one of my best tailgating experiences of the season.
As tailgating turns into game time, head into the stadium as GoBeavs nation cheers on their team. At halftime, many fans reconvene in the parking lot to enjoy more tailgating before the second half begins. After the game is over, head downtown to one of the many restaurants and pubs for postgame celebrations. If you enjoy a friendly and intimate football experience, the beautiful college town of Corvallis won’t disappoint.
For game day experiences, transportation and more, use the Oregon State Game Day Guide as you enjoy the OSU football experience. For game day tickets, buy them from the Oregon State ticket office or find Oregon State football tickets on StubHub.
Where to stay
Accommodations in Corvallis are limited, making it important to book your room early for games. Located right across the street from Reser Stadium, the Hilton Garden Inn is convenient on game days. The hotel features include spacious rooms, a business center, restaurant and free WiFi.
Limited availability may mean prices are a little higher than expected. However, well-known hotels in the heart of Corvallis include the Days Inn, Corvallis Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn Express on the River, and Best Western Grand Manor Inn. For budget travelers, the Rodeway Inn and Super 8 are among the budget hotel options located downtown. If you can’t find a hotel in Corvallis, there are a few hotels in neighboring towns, which include Albany, Philomath and Harrisburg.
Where to eat/drink
In Corvallis, there are two main areas to eat and drink in town. NW Monroe is the main street near campus, which offers local dining options. Local Boyz offers tasty dishes with a Hawaiian flavor and is popular among students. McMenamins is a chain of Oregon restaurants with burgers, salads and beers, located just a short walk from campus. American Dream offers a variety of pizzas at one of the most popular spots in town. Other dining options on NW Monroe include Bomb’s Away Café, Clodfelters, and Yogurt Extreme.
Downtown Corvallis is your second main option for grabbing a bite to eat or enjoying late night drinks. SW 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets are the place to find a number of restaurants and pubs. A few of the popular campus restaurants on NW Monroe, such as American Dream and McMenamins, have locations downtown.
In downtown Corvallis, there’s Block 15, which is known for their garlic fries, or Flat Tail Brewing, a local brewing company specializing in tasty beers and pub food. New Morning Bakery offers a casual family dining experience and tasty treats for Sunday morning breakfast or lunch.
For other dining options in Corvallis, Woodstock’s is another popular pizza place. Enjoy a fun night of drinks, Mexican food and karaoke at El Presidente or dine on the Willamette River at Big River Restaurant.
What to do
Corvallis is a town built around the happenings of Oregon State University. While football, baseball and basketball are popular, Oregon State fans cheer on their teams in every sport. During my weekend in Corvallis, I saw an Oregon State women’s volleyball match and men’s basketball game at Gill Coliseum, in addition to the Civil War rivalry game at Reser Stadium. You can also take a walk through the Oregon State campus where its true beauty is on full display during the fall season. While you’re on campus, find a local art museum or concert to enjoy.
For nightlife, the pubs and restaurants are the place to hang out. There are a few hotspots for college students and those who want an exciting nightlife experience. The Peacock Bar & Grill offers pub food and drinks seven days a week, as well as live bands and karaoke. At night, the top of the Peacock is the hottest place in town with drinks, music and dancing.
The main streets of downtown are where you’ll find plenty of local stores and antique shops. This area also has a number of wineries for those who are interested in tasting a little of what Oregon wine country has to offer. For more ideas and activities, check out a list of things to do in the area.
The great outdoors in and around Corvallis offer many beautiful places to explore. There are a number of hiking and biking trails close to town, as well as a few golf courses. Bald Hill Natural Recreation Area offers easy hikes and excellent views just a few minutes from downtown Corvallis. For waterfalls and the highest peaks in the area, Alsea Falls and Mary’s Peak offer gorgeous natural escapes just a few miles away.
Whether you love Oregon State, enjoy the outdoors or just want to savor the experience of a great college town, Corvallis is a community filled with passionate fans who make you feel right at home in Beaver nation. Small as Corvallis may be, it’s big on passion and hospitality.
Jeremy Branham lives in Sacramento, California and is a budget traveler, sports fan, and travel enthusiast. With his College Football Travel Tour, he explores the culture of college towns as travel and sports collide. Get more stories and photos from the College Football Travel Tour along with destinations, travel tips and stories, travel guides, and hiking adventures on his blog Budget Travel Adventures.